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Old 12-28-2006, 05:31 PM   #1
Beeratier
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Default Cellaring Beer in the Earth

I've been thinking about how to cellar my beer at a nice cool temperature year around but I'm unable to do this in my house for lack of fridge space.

So here is my idea. I'll dig a deep hole, put a 55gal drum in it and place my beer in there. I have a large backhoe, so this is not a problem. I can go down to 20 feet with it. But I'm thinking I only need the top of the drum to be 2 or 3 feet below the frost line. Then I would cover it with insulation, a steel plate and dirt on top.

I would only be putting very high alcohol brews in the drum for long aging.

Does anyone know how far down you have to go to reach a constant 50-55 degree temp all year around?

Has anyone else here done this?



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Old 12-28-2006, 05:42 PM   #2
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I have a wine cellar which is sort of like what you are talking about. It fluctuates in the winter and summer, but always stays between 45 and 56 which is really fine for all practical purposes.

You might do some research on koi ponds. If you make the pond deep enough, koi fish can live underneath the ice year round. I would say that that is the depth you should be shooting for.


Now, on to more important questions...

when you die, to whom will you leave the treasure map?



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Old 12-28-2006, 05:43 PM   #3
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I'd go about 4 feet to the top of the drum just to be sure. That's about where the frost line is. Hey, if it works for our nuclear waste - it's gotta work for beer!

Maybe test it with water first to make sure it won't freeze.

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Old 12-28-2006, 05:45 PM   #4
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Where are you located?

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Old 12-28-2006, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
But I'm thinking I only need the top of the drum to be 2 or 3 feet below the frost line.
That will do it. If you have a backhoe, why not dig an actual root cellar, doors and all? I'd build one myself, except keeping water out in the winter would be extremely difficult.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:15 PM   #6
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I'm in Eastern Oregon up in the mountains at about 4500ft. We dont have winters as harsh as you would think being up this high on the side of a mountain. It rarely gets below 20 degrees F.

I thought about doing the whole root cellar thing but I like the idea of the drum that is hard to get to. With the root cellar I would be much more tempted to go and get a beer before its aged for several years. With the drum storage I'd have to make an effort to dig it up. And there is no limit to how many drums I could bury

In the end I'll probably do the root cellar thing and the drums as well.

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Old 12-28-2006, 09:28 PM   #7
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But having the cellar would decrease the chances of a drunken backhoe dig. It seems like one of those things that "sounded like a good idea at the time".

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Old 12-28-2006, 09:42 PM   #8
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Beer. Back hoe. Large hole. Can't go wrong!

...I would put a large board on top before burying to reduce the accident potential when digging back up. How about a rope attached to the top of the drum that you can follow down?

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Old 12-28-2006, 10:17 PM   #9
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How about a beer treasure hunt with the GPS co-ordinates?

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Old 12-28-2006, 11:40 PM   #10
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I can see it now....3 years from now, Beeratier will be standing in one of 30 holes in his back yard and sobbing because he forgot where he buried his beer



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